The Hertfordshire Mercury have denied their future is in doubt after the newspaper's social media and website were renamed Herts Live overnight.
The Mercury's publisher Reach plc announced in November last year that it would launch at least seven new regional websites and recruit 46 journalists in a 'significant expansion' of its digital network.
The Mercury closed it's Hertford office in 2018, making some staff redundant and relocating others to Chelmsford, from where the Hertfordshire Mercury is now run.
As well as local titles across the country, Reach plc also publish The Daily Mirror, Daily Star and Daily Express.
A report on the industry website pressgazette.co.uk says that Essex Live editor Alan Woods will head up a team of six for the launch of Herts Live in March to cover the entire county of Hertfordshire. The Mercury group of newspapers only covers the east of the county.
Local news publishers have been struggling with print sales in recent years, with many titles closing. The Harlow Star and Herts & Essex Observer ceased publication in January 2019.
Commenting on the rebrand, The Mercury said: "The Hertfordshire Mercury newspaper will continue to publish as usual. As you will have seen in Hold the Front Page and other trade press the online channels are rebranding to HertsLive in line with lots of our other online regional sites, but it's the same staff and content and the paper remains."
Edited 17/3/20 to reflect reaction from The Hertfordshire Mercury